In-person quarterly vet visits to resume

Red Tractor has confirmed that quarterly vet visits are to resume on pig farms from the start of August, after they were suspended at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown period.

In a communication to pig scheme members and vets, Red Tractors describes quarterly veterinary visits as an integral feature of the scheme and says it is crucial that it ensures regular veterinary oversight on Red Tractor pig units.

“The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic created a significant challenge in this area. Balancing the need to limit non-essential contact with the need to ensure robust veterinary oversight of Red Tractor assured pig farms has been delivered by remote veterinary visits,” it adds.

“While this has proven to be very successful, given most veterinary practices have now resumed their routine work on farms, with effect from August 1, quarterly visits should go ahead in person.”

Red Tractor says it understands that there may be individual circumstances where a physical visit is considered high risk, and in these cases, until the end of the year at least, a remote quarterly visit can still be done. However, if circumstances mean that a unit needs a third consecutive remote veterinary visit a derogation must be sought from the relevant certification body.

As is always the case, if there is no documentary evidence that a quarterly vet visit (remote or physical) has taken place, a non-conformance will be raised.

You can read the updated guidance on the Red Tractor Assurance website here

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.